CMS Emergency Preparedness Interpretive Guidelines Issued

Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

NYSHFA has been notified that an advanced copy of the CMS Emergency Preparedness Interpretive Guidelines has been issued and may be accessed via the link below. These guidelines include survey procedures regarding your facility's emergency plans and how this information is disseminated. NYSHFA recommends that you review section 483.73 LTC facilities and educate your staff accordingly.

The “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers” Final Rule (81 FR 63860, Sept. 16, 2016) (“Final Rule”) establishes national emergency preparedness requirements for participating providers and certified suppliers to plan adequately for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate with Federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems.

The Final Rule also assists providers and suppliers to adequately prepare to meet the needs of patients, clients, residents, and participants during disasters and emergency situations, striving to provide consistent requirements across provider and supplier-types, with some variations. The new emergency preparedness Final Rule is based primarily off of the hospital emergency preparedness Condition of Participation (CoP) as a general guide for the remaining providers and suppliers, then tailored based to address the differences and or unique needs of the other providers and suppliers (e.g. inpatient versus out-patient providers).

The requirements are focused on three key essentials necessary for maintaining access to healthcare during disasters or emergencies: safeguarding human resources, maintaining business continuity, and protecting physical resources. The interpretive guidelines and survey procedures in this appendix have been developed to support the adoption of a standard all-hazards emergency preparedness program for all certified providers and suppliers while similarly including appropriate adjustments to address the unique differences of the other providers and suppliers and their patients. Successful adoption of these requirements will enable all providers and suppliers wherever they are located to better anticipate and plan for needs, rapidly respond as a facility, as well as integrate with local public health and emergency management agencies and healthcare coalitions’ response activities and rapidly recover following the disaster.


Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15